WARRINGTON Town arrived in Derbyshire with a completely unblemished record. They left with it in tatters.

There could be no complaints either – hosts Mickleover were fully deserving of their 3-2 victory as they put on a clinic of the basics of football.

For Town, though, it is a huge reality check as they are brought firmly back down to Earth.

“I don’t know whether we thought we’ve done it after four games, but it’s just a start,” a furious manager Paul Carden reflected post-match.

“We’ve started well but that’s all it is. Any side in the division can put four wins together.

“We were nowhere near the levels I’ll accept. There were a few players who put in really below-par performances today.”

And all this after the early signs were pointing to a fifth victory from as many Pitching In Northern Premier League Premier Division matches.

When Josh Amis turned home a corner from close range, they had the reward their positive start deserved.

Things were looking secure, with Charlie Munro further demonstrating how classy an operator he is in midfield with some lovely touches in tight situations.

Then, an unfamiliar feeling – the ball hitting the back of their net.

It is a goal they will be so disappointed to conceded, too, as Phil Watt rose to head home a corner.

From then on, any semblance of control Town had evaporated.

“I think our lack of decision-making was the factor in the result,” Carden continued.

“I said before the game that we had to ask them questions. They play a diamond so we wanted the wide players to put crosses in.

“Jack Dunn hasn’t put one in, Jack Macrketh has done one or two, Rosey (Michael Rose) put one great ball in but that’s it.

“When you talk about asking questions, I’m asking them to do what they’re meant to do.

“We did make a good start and got a good goal, which was deserved as we were pushing early one.

“We dropped off after that. We gave silly fouls away which encouraged them and were lazy in tracking runners.”

Then came the major flashpoint – an incident which saw Town’s Scott Brown and Mickleover skipper Mason Warren sent off.

Referee Gareth Davies did not initially give a foul for Brown’s heavy challenge on Warren, but the latter’s reaction sparked a mass melee which forced the game to be stopped.

Upon consulation with his officials, Davies showed the red card first to Brown and then Warren – a decision Carden had no complaints about.

“It’s a silly sending-off,” he said.

“From where I was, he’s jumped in and he’s off the ground.

“The only thing is the ref hasn’t given a free kick.

“Their number four who was sent off as well has stood over Browny causing a bit of a commotion and that’s what stopped the game.”

Half time came at a good moment for Town to regroup and reorganise, but they never did.

To their credit, Mickleover did so superbly – sitting with two banks of four and setting traps that Yellows fell into time and time again.

Their efforts were led by veteran frontman Stuart Beavon, who battled above his weight in the air, drew fouls on the ground and generally caused havoc for the previously unbreached Town defence.

Once Declan Bacon had strode through to slot the hosts ahead, there only looked to be one winner and Beavon’s superb lobbed finish added a deserved exclamation point.

“In fairness, they could have scored more and they’ll be disappointed they didn’t,” Carden said.

“We’re known to be mean, resilient and tight defensively while doing the right things, but we weren’t today.

“We were a yard off it and Beavon dominated. He’s played on mistakes and there was plenty to play on. I’d be giving him their man of the match.”

Even then, Jordan Buckley finished well in the dying embers to set up a frantic finale and Yellows were given a chance to put the ball into the box one last time.

It came to nothing, though, and in truth anything they would have gained from the game would have been undeserved.

While one cannot lose sight of the good things Town have done so far this season, this felt like a significant step back.